Study: Iowa emergency department visits shortest in U.S.

In an era of emergency department overcrowding, it's certainly worth noting: Iowa hospitals offer the shortest emergency department visits in the United States.

Patient satisfaction research firm Press Ganey Associates, says the national average for emergency department visits is three hours and 42 minutes. In Iowa, however, the average visit is two hours and 18 minutes, shorter than the wait patients experience in some big-city walk-in clinics. The states with the longest waits, meanwhile, included Arizona (4 hours 57 minutes), Maryland (4 hours 7 minutes), Utah (4 hours 4 minutes), New York (3 hours 58 minutes) and Florida (3 hours 57 minutes).

Why do Iowans enjoy such short waits for treatment in EDs? An Iowa Hospital Association representative says the shorter visits are due, in part, because the state has many small hospitals which don't get much ED traffic, more primary care physicians per person than other states, and higher rates of patients with health insurance.

To find out more about this phenomenon:
- read this Associated Press article

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